“Life is a combination of magic and pasta”
I couldn’t agree more and the tour is designed with this in mind. You begin in Rome, home to La Dolce Vitaand it is here you encounter some of the magic of what the Romans were able to achieve. You then head up to Florence and Siena, both beautiful cities in Tuscany, a region drenched in fabulous olive oil and Chianti wine, both of which you will be tasting throughout your stay there. Itis then onto Modena, Pavarotti’shome town and also home to balsamic vinegar among other treats. And nearby in Maranello you will have a chance to sample some more of Italy’s magic, as you have the chance to drive a Ferrari. It’s then time to don your chef’s hat and learn to prepare some typical Italian dishes at the cookery school of Mantua, a city known as the Sleeping Beauty of Italy. It’s then onto Bologna for a gelato making masterclass before you end in Venice (the epitome of magic), known for its tiramisù, cichettiand iconic drinks.
Day 1 Rome, Arrival Day
Upon landing you will be whisked away to your hotel to check in, before you can enjoy an early evening stroll to get your first glimpse of the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon before ending in the lovely neighbourhood of Trastevere for your first Roman meal. You can then catch up on some sleep ready for the adventure ahead. Buon appetito! (D)
Day 2 Rome: La Dolce Vita
Today you follow in Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck’s tyre marks, as you zip around Rome on a Vespa. Your tour will include some of Rome’s more unusual sights as well as the classics and will also include a pit stop for yet more delicious Roman food. A typical Roman lunch follows before a guided tour of the Vatican Museums. The evening is then free for further exploration. (B, L)
“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”
Day 3 – That’s amore!
Time to say Arrivederci to Roma and head to the delights of Tuscany. You will travel on the high-speed train up to Florence whereupon you will be met by a local guide from where you will then explore Florence by visiting the David, sampling some of her lovely foods and then climbing the famous bell tower and Brunelleschi’s dome. In the late afternoon, you head to Siena to check into your hotel and enjoy a romantic meal in one of Italy’s most romantic cities. (B, D)
Day 4 Siena: Europe’s loveliest piazza
Siena is best known for its famous Palio horse race which takes place in the ‘Piazza del Campo’ twice a year. This lovely square, opens up like a golden fan as the sun creeps in. This morning, after a lie in, enjoy breakfast, enjoy a morning’s walk with a local guide and taste some of the local specialities of the town, such as panforte, the dense dried fruit cake for which Siena is most famous. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at leisure. You might like to spend part of it sitting in the lovely piazza watching the world go by from one of the bars and cafes that line the square. (B, L)
Day 5 Chianti and Modena: Eat, drink and be merry
Tuscany is synonymous with the word wine and between late August and early October is when the wines are traditionally harvested, so you have arrived just in time! Enjoy a day out sampling various wines and then drive on to Modena, Pavarotti’s hometown, and also home to some of Italy’s best dining (these two facts are not unrelated 😉 ). (B, L)
“The creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.”
Italy’s most famous food region is that of Emilia-Romagna (home to Bologna, also known as ‘La Grassa’ (aka the Fat One) and tortellini pasta). Parma (famous for parmesan cheese and ham) and Modena (home of balsamic vinegar), are two other food havens in this province.
Day 6 Ferraris and Regional specialities
This morning enjoy a wander around Modena including a visit to Enzo Ferrari’s former home, now a museum. It’s then off to Maranello where you will have the opportunity to test drive one of the cars before returning to Modena in the evening. A lunch provides the perfect opportunity to sample the local Parma ham, parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar, before the afternoon and evening are at your leisure. (B, L)
Day 7 Mantua: Italy’s Sleeping Beauty
Surrounded by water, known as Italy’s sleeping beauty, Mantua truly is a fairy-tale city. This was also the place that Monteverdi, the father of opera, premiered his opera Orfeo. In 2017 it was the European Capital of Gastronomy, making it an ideal stop on our Gastro tour. You will enjoy a guided tour, a cookery lesson and a meal here before returning to Modena. (B, L,)
Day 8 La Grassa and La Serenissima (The Fat One and the Most Serene One)
Nicknamed La Grassa, (‘the fat one’), Bologna is an absolute must on any foodie’s route. Appropriately, after checking out of the hotel in Modena, you head for a gelato master class on the way there where you learn the art of making gelato Italian style. It’s then onto the city for a wander around before enjoying a lunch. It’s then time to head over to Venice, aka La Serenissima. You will arrive into Venice appropriately at aperitivo time; in the early evening. Venice and the Veneto are home to some of Italy’s most famous drinks, such as the Bellini, the iconic peach juice and prosecco combination, named after the pink in Giovanni Bellini’s paintings. This evening sample this at one of her best hotels, before sampling some of her other famous drinks, followed by dinner at one of Venice’s great local restaurants. (B, D)
“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”
Day 9 Venice Highlights
Today begins with a visit to the Doge’s Palace with a local guide before a wander around Venice including a lunchtime sampling of the various cicchetti at the typical bars dotted throughout Venice. Then the afternoon and evening are free for you to continue your tasting, be it food, wine or Venice’s many artistic offerings. (B, L)
Day 10 Burano: All the Colours of the Rainbow
Today you head to Burano for a wander around the famous colourful houses and a chance to sample some of the island’s famous bussolacookies. Return to La Serenissima for free time for lunch and an afternoon’s wandering at your leisure. Tonight you have your final Venetian dinner before it’s time to say, in the words of the locals, “Ciao Ciao Venezia”; (the word ciao is of Venetian origin). (B, D)
Day 11 Departure
Time to say Ciao Ciao Italia, but I hope it will be more a case of ‘Arrivederci’ (until the next time) (B)
Included in This Trip:
Accommodation & Services:
- 2 nights in Rome, 2 nights in Siena, 3 nights in Modena and 3 nights in Venice (10 nights)
- Centrally located, upmarket hotels.
- Extremely highly qualified, professional tour manager at your disposal 24/7.
- Private transport unless otherwise stated.
- Transfers to and from the airport.
- Trains and all other transport, including private car and taxi at various points.
- All tips. For instance, tips to guides, restaurants, hotels etc, are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
- You will be visiting: Rome, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Modena, Maranello, Mantua, Bologna and Venice.
Food & Beverages:
- Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
- When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
- Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.
Entrances & Tickets:
- Vatican Museums – timed entrance to avoid the queues
- Doge’s Palace
- Accademia (the David) – timed entrance to avoid the queues
- Bell Tower and Brunelleschi dome in Florence
- Cathedral in Siena
- Palace in Mantua
Guided Tours with a difference (tastings included):
- Vespa ride around Rome
- gondola ride in Venice
- cookery lesson
- wine tasting
- aperitivi tasting
- Ferrari test drive
- A surprise (we are children at heart after all)
NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:
- Flights not included.
- Travel insurance.
- Visas, where applicable.
- (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).
Please note that in booking a trip with me, you are also contributing to charities which support young people in education. The charity I currently give to is the Malala Fund: www.malala.org , whose mission it is to help the 130 million girls worldwide, who are currently unable to access education.
Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.
Copyright © 2019 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved.